Swiss Vote Again to Continue Heroin Experiment 6/18/99

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In a referendum held Sunday (6/13), Swiss citizens once again voted to continue the country's heroin maintenance program, which provides controlled doses of heroin to long-term addicts in a clinical setting. The referendum was sponsored by groups such as "Children Against Drugs" and "Swiss Doctors Against Drugs," which collected the 50,000 signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot. Voters approved the initiative by 54 percent.

Two years ago, a referendum to close down the heroin program, along with the country's methadone maintenance programs and safe injection rooms, was rejected by more than 70%. That vote was held two months after the final review of the heroin program's initial clinical trials were completed. The review found that among participants in the program, joblessness, criminality, and hard drug use (including cocaine) decreased dramatically, while their health and housing situations improved. Since then, the program has been endorsed by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.

For more information on heroin maintenance, check out http://www.lindesmith.org/library/heroinmain_index2.html on the Lindesmith Center web site.

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Issue #95, 6/18/99 Reformers Slandered, Harassed and Threatened at House Subcommittee Hearings on Legalization | Juvenile Justice Bill Expected to Pass with Worst Provisions Intact | Swiss Vote Again to Continue Heroin Experiment | Palliative or Repressive? Conservative-Sponsored Legislation Impacts on Pain, Suicide and Drug Policy Debates | Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Moves to House Floor | Geraldo Rivera Drug War Report This Weekend (6/20) | Newsbriefs | RESOURCES: Kids and Drug Education, Drug Control Strategies, Medical Marijuana Report, Hemp Video | New Research Finds Marijuana Offenders Crowding Nation's Prisons and Jails | Canadian Senator Urges Drug Policy Review, Endorses Legalization of Marijuana, Soft Drugs | Errata on Breyer Appointment | Editorial: US House of Repression
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